Uber introduces new safety measures

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

Uber on Tuesday introduced a new safety feature in its app that reminds passengers to fasten their seatbelts shortly after their ride begins.

In its announcement, the ride-hailing service expressed concern over passengers’ reluctance to use seat belts, despite the fact that 50 percent of all vehicle crash fatalities in the US in 2022 were attributed to their non-usage.

Now, when you board a ride, your driver’s device will emit an audio reminder, urging you to “Please use your seat belt for your safety.” Simultaneously, you’ll receive a push notification on your phone with a message emphasizing the importance of using a seat belt, even for short journeys and when seated in the back.

The idea of implementing audio seat belt alerts was initially tested by Uber in 2021, following feedback from drivers. At that time, Uber believed that such alerts would encourage seat belt usage and help drivers maintain a safe environment during trips.

With this latest rollout, the feature becomes widely accessible in regions including the US, UK, Taiwan, Latin America, and various countries in Africa, with plans for expansion into additional territories in the future.

However, this feature will only be active for the first five trips following its launch. Uber hopes that passengers will develop a habit of fastening their seat belts after these initial reminders, but it will continue to send notifications every tenth trip thereafter to reinforce this behavior.

Additionally, Uber recently introduced a new safety preferences section within the app, allowing users to access and automate various safety tools. From this section, passengers can opt to activate features such as audio recording, PIN verification, RideCheck, and Share My Trip, enhancing overall safety measures during their Uber rides.

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